What do I tick for DS on the ethnicity question?

(35 Posts)
Purplelooby Fri 21-Sep-12 14:29:13

So far I told the HV 'I don't know' and she kept in blank. I know that ethnicity is considered to be a choice which is why it is now used in place of race, but I can't ask my baby what he chooses to be!

Basically, DS is 3/4 white 1/4 Chinese by genetics (I'm white). In fact his Grandad is from Indonesian and has never been to China, so whilst DH is very proud of his heritage (and wants DS to be too) he has always found it confusing to answer the inevitable race questions (he looks fully Chinese).

DS has a Chinese middle name that has been proudly chosen by his Grandfather. Er, anyone with children who are 3/4 White 1/4 Something Else - have you ticked 'Mixed Race' or 'White'?

ChunkyPickle Fri 21-Sep-12 14:32:49

I refuse to tick unless it's medical. I know I'm being stubborn, but I fail to see how those tiny little boxes of 'ethnicity' help anyone decide anything. It seems to me that there's a gulf of cultural difference between a Norwegian and a Southern Spaniard, yet they'd both be expected to tick 'white'

Tick 'other', and refuse to elaborate unless you want to.

Purplelooby Fri 21-Sep-12 20:12:14

Hmm that's not a bad idea...

memememum Sat 22-Sep-12 19:52:29

There should always be an option of 'decline to say'. I always use this for my dcs because, as you say, it should be up to the person themselves how/if they choose to describe themself. My dcs aren't yet old enough to make that decision.

I find it hard too- my DCs would be considered 1/2 'indigenous or tribal' (according to censuses at least) and 1/2 white. Just tick other or 'decline to say'.

Fifi2406 Thu 06-Dec-12 14:58:36

I never know what to tick either...I'm white his dad is mixed half white half black so he's 3/4's??? Watching with interest what other people do

caramelwaffle Thu 06-Dec-12 15:00:47

Other.

Other mixed race.

I'm 3/4 white and 1/4 Black and I always say I'm mixed race because I don't 'feel' white. It's a personal thing I think

DP is Asian so DS is 1/2 Asian and has White and Black in him. I ticked 'any other mixed background' for him.

Pinkchatz Sun 23-Dec-12 09:53:41

I hate this question as I'm mixed with a white man, so I just tick mixed other for the children or if there isn't that option I have to go for mixed black Caribbean/white British but I don't like doing that as its misleading. I'm the full mixed one, they are more 3/4 white!

SavoyCabbage Sun 23-Dec-12 09:58:52

I just pick any.

CaptainNancy Sun 23-Dec-12 10:18:34

There really should be a 'multinational' option! grin
We usually end up with 'other', sometimes for children 'white other'.
Thing is that medical professionals do distinguish between different 'white's (for things like sickle cell for instance)
I find it frustrating that there's no wordings for people who are mixed with mixed parents- thouugh on my pg notes, they allowed you to tick as many boxes as represented your heritage IIRC, which helped a bit (though midwife wasbemused to see so many ticks tbh.

Himalaya Sun 23-Dec-12 10:34:06

I am 1/4 Asian 3/4 white - I tick mixed race on forms.
The DCs are only 1/8 Asian and look white, so I tick white for them.

Soila Thu 27-Dec-12 08:32:12

But you do know what he is. You just told us - "DS is 3/4 white 1/4 Chinese"

My 21 year old daughter is 3/4 black and 1/4 white born in the UK and holds a French passport - we have always ticked mixed race because that's exactly what she is.

You see even if you leave it blank now, the question will come up - from him.

ruddynorah Thu 27-Dec-12 08:34:50

I put mixed. Mine are 1/4 and 3/4 mix thought those portions are also mixed. Both look very white indeed, but their grandad is Moroccan.

MoRaw Mon 31-Dec-12 21:25:32

Pinkchatz, "mixed" does not mean half and half. Mixed can mean any "mixture" (for want of a better word). So your kids are mixed albeit in different proportions to you.

At the end of the day, it is the individual preference. I often think far too much is made of this tick the box. It is for administrative purposes (often important ones) and does not define you or your child. Just tick the one that most closely applies.

My son is mixed, does not look mixed (REALLY does not look mixed) but that is what he is factually and as such that is what I will tick and will encourage him to see himself as. I do not want him to spend to much time agonizing about what he should tick or what he is. He should acknowledge he is mixed and just move on with his life as this his success will not be dependent on what box best describes him - it is but a minor distraction.

justhayley Tue 01-Jan-13 10:04:21

Ooo glad this is on here. I'm mixed race (1/2 White 1/2 black) an my DP Is White. Do people still say quarter cast? I know half cast isn't ever used but what happens with the 3/4 ers lol. Our DS to look at is totally White - somehow he's come out with blonde hair and blue eyes, infact he's lighter than his dad lol. However I don't want him to just think he's White, especially when he's at school as his friends might get a shock if he describes himself as White and then they meet mehmm. I was thinking about forms the other day, I think I may tick the other box for him. Although I hated being other!

justhayley Tue 01-Jan-13 10:08:20

Actually reading this thread I'm thinking tick mixed race. I always tend to think of mixed as half Half for some reason, but it's true, mixed race doesn't state the proportions your talking about so quarters are mixed race as well

JaquelineHyOnChristmasSpirit Tue 01-Jan-13 10:19:01

You know exactly what the ethnicity of your son is as you have told us quite easily.

He is mixed and you can choose to elaborate on that on the forms if you wish to. You could even write the exact splits on the form create your own box and tick that!

Anifrangapani Tue 01-Jan-13 10:22:27

Hinze 57 gets penciled in on any of those silly forms aI have to fill in.

lynniep Tue 01-Jan-13 10:29:23

I generally just put mixed race or other or just dont answer the forms. How far are you supposed to drill down? If your ds is say 1/8 chinese 1/8 indian etc etc- do you bother with that? I wouldn't. I'm mixed race, so my DSs are 1/4 thai and I put mixed race when DS1 was younger but now I generally ignore it.

ohfunnyhoneyface Tue 01-Jan-13 10:30:57

I always put 'other' as none of the boxes ever feel right!

mindgone Mon 07-Jan-13 16:39:01

Mine are 'mixed other' as they are an Egyptian Irish
British mix! They look quite white, one more than the other, but I think to put them down as 'white British' is to deny their heritage, which we are all very proud of!

MonoBrowser Mon 07-Jan-13 16:43:22

Tick mixed. My kids are 1/4 black Caribbean, 1/4 Hispanic, 1/2 Irish. I always go for Mixed 'Other' and write in their heritage. Why the hell shouldnt I? grin

OddBoots Mon 07-Jan-13 16:45:03

I hate asking this question at work (a pre-school) as it does feel like an outdated concept, some of our children are amazingly mixed.

giveitago Mon 14-Jan-13 19:42:50

I don't bother with these forms too much. The only time it helped my ds was to get a tb jab when he was a baby as it was only offered to babies who were at risk ie people with connections in developing countries. So I bigged it up for him and the midwife agreed that with his part asian background and family in africa they'd do it. So turn up to the place to have the jab and the nurse gets all sniffy about my 'white' child. I get sniffy back with her and get it done. End of. Job done.She had the f'ing cheek to ask me his credentials to have it done.

I don't take them very seriously as I don't think I ever ever need to explain my multicultural credentials these days (given the shit that it spouted on about it) - as I'vce been this way my entire life no matter my name or what I look like, ta - and I've told the same to my ds who goes to an achingly 'hip' 'muliticultural school'. He can put down all 5 backgrounds or whatever he wants to. Don't really care.

The only time I take it seriously is with medical stuff as background can explain certain conditions.

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